Islamabad - Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal yesterday blamed the military regimes for causing irreparable damage to the country and said that one dictatorship deprived Pakistan of its eastern part while during Musharaf tenure Balochistan was on the brink of slipping away from the federation.

“Pakistan has become a democratically strong country as the previous democratic government completed its five years tenure for the first time in the country’s history and now the incumbent government was on its way to complete its tenure,” Ahsan Iqbal said while addressing the annual meeting of Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC). He said that some elements were creating uncertainty by spreading rumors about future of the present government.

The minister also announced that the country’s biggest ever nuclear energy project, of 2000MW, will be completed by 2020. Work of 2000MW K-2 and K-3 nuclear power projects was also ongoing which would be completed by 2020, he added.

The minister said that corruption was not the main factor for slow development of the country as in India there was more corruption than in Pakistan but it was growing with much higher pace.

The only pre-requisite for development of any nation is political Stability and continuity of the policies from one government to another, which is possible only through the democratic system, Ahsan Iqbal said.

The main reason in slow development in country is military intervention, he said adding that the military rules in Pakistan caused irreparable damages to the country.

During Musharraf regime Balochistan was on the brink of slipping away from the federation but the present government had brought it to the national mainstream, the minister said adding that now Pakistani flag was being hoisted everywhere whether it was Quetta, Dera Bugti, Sibbi or Gwadar.   

He said in the general elections to be held in 2018, the people would vote on the basis of performance and will vote those parties which had worked better than the others.

Talking about the achievements of his government, the minister said that in 2013, when the PML-N government took over the charge, energy and extremism were the main challenges. Due to prudent policies of the government, the country had now come out of the crisis, he said.

The federal minister said that the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a gift for the nation which would change the country’s fate.He said work on the projects under CPEC had been started with full pace.

Ahsan Iqbal said that work on the 1320MW power project at Port Qasim, Karachi was going on rapidly while another 1320MW power project in Sahiwal would start producing electricity by June, 2017. Similarly he said the 3600MW Re-Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) based three power projects (1200MW each) would also start producing electricity by May, 2017.He said work on mega hydro projects of Dasu and Diamir Bhasha Dam had also been started.

He further informed that by December, 2016, Gwadar city would be  connected by road with Quetta, Khuzdar, Ratodero and Sukkur, while in three to five years, Karachi- Lahore Motorway would also be completed.He said the current government during its three years period,

earmarked Rs100 billion for the up-gradation of Pakistan Railways while the cargo service of PR had also been revived due to which the cost was reduced by 50 per cent.

He said that Rs150 billion was provided for the rehabilitation of Pakistan Railway. The railway track from Karachi to Lahore was also being Up-graded step by step which would help increasing the speed up to 160 kilometers per hour. Regarding service structure of the engineers, the minister said that recommendations in this regard were being prepared which would be presented before the Prime Minister for approval.